A straight-faced Dennis Duby entered a packed courtroom full of outraged citizens and denied killing his 2-year old stepdaughter, Dezirae Sheldon.
"Defendant on February 19th, 2014 inflicted such force to Dezirae Sheldon's head that upon impact she began to die," Deputy State's Attorney Rosemary Kennedy told the court.
Court papers show Dezirae's mother, Sandra Eastman, was running errands when the alleged murder happened. She returned to their Poultney home and called 911 after finding Dezirae unresponsive. Prosecutors say Dennis Duby was the only adult present, along with his and Eastman's other baby.
"Defendant assaulted Dezirae with such force that the dying is almost instantaneous. He admits that he was the only one with Dezirae and admits he is the only one present when she is first on the ground unresponsive, when her brain is swelling beyond repair," Kennedy said.
Duby denies that is what happened, but the judge questioned his story, saying he's changed it multiple times. "It is also at this point unrefuted from the affidavit that Mr. Duby, over a course of days, has provided multiple versions of events as to what happened. Not only what happened, but where it happened in the residence," the judge said.
Details during the courtroom proceeding were too much for Dezirae's mom. She charged at Duby but was grabbed by security who escorted her out the room.
Duby is in jail, but Dezirae's family is upset the judge set bail at $250,000. "To the possibility that he could make bail, who knows if he's going to go out and find another kid to hurt, to kill," said Lisa Eastman, Dezirae's aunt.
Duby's bail was set high because the judge thought he was a flight risk, but he's never been convicted of a crime before. He will be back in court on March 24th and could face even more charges in the little girl's death.
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